The budget announcement is yet another failed attempt by the Government to address the crisis gripping our NHS.
Hospitals, GP surgeries and social care services in Sunderland and across the country face an uncertain future as years of underfunding and under resourcing is presenting itself in overstretched services and staff are exposed to dangerous levels of stress.
The extra £100million of funding promised for GP triage services across emergency departments will do little to ease the pressure on A&Es and will take GPs, who are in the grip of a recruitment crisis, away from their surgeries where they are desperately needed.
Similarly, the additional £325million in funding towards overseeing sustainability and transformation plans is just a drop in the ocean compared to the £9.5billion that is actually needed to successfully implement the plans.
The Government should have used the budget as an opportunity to plug the £30billion gap in the NHS but has instead ensured that the situation will go from bad to worse as its complacency in addressing the actual amount of funding needed will ultimately affect patient care.
Dr George Rae,
BMA North East council regional chair